1st SAL.....Peg, Dale and I committed to stitching Anni Downs - A Gardener's Journal in March. I blogged about this on my blog thinking maybe one or 2 others may join us and lots of girls indicated an interest so I decided to start this blog where we can all encourage each other to meet the goals set along the way....March 2010 -March 2011...........
2nd SAL ......well so many of the girls wanted to continue on with another project and some new girls joined us and now approx 91 girls are stitching Natalie Bird's Tis the Season. March to Sept 2011...............
3rd SAL....many girls want to stick with the SAL so now we have moved onto Anni Downs Some Kind of Wonderful - My Favourite Things Quilt.......Oct 2011-Oct 2012.........
Where are we now.....
4th SAL 2013...is numerous smaller projects from the previous 2 books Tis the Season and Some Kind of Wonderful plus some projects from Red Home by Natalie Bird approx 60 ladies stitching together.........
2014 we had the year off..............
5th SAL 2015..........inspired to continue we are doing another quilt project.....Anni Downs newest quilt Natures Journey.....

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Still Working!

I am still working on Nature's Journey...today
I put in about 4 hours...as you see, I finished sewing
on the applique border and began to put together the 2
border....I had to go back to the cutting table as I didn't have
 enough of the color squares, didn't know it would take so many.
Its okay to do it in stages, though as having my head bent that way
tends to initiate the old vertigo...
I have two of the sides, sewn and ready to put on....
as I worked in assembly line fashion, I began to do some of
the pink border so won't be too far behind when I get to
I should get a couple of hours of sewing in tomorrow..
but must make a cake for a meeting on Thursday night...
so probably not 4 hours...the end is in sight...
now I'm thinking about backing...
Mama Bear

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Hello my friends.
I am smiling :)
My `Nature`s Journey` is finished.
I had to keep going as this was not to be a UFO.

I pegged my finished quilt to the side of the deck.
There was a bit of a breeze.
I am so pleased with the red and teal colours in this quilt.

Turned quilt around to show quilting at it`s best.
More machine quilting in this quilt than
my last so that shows my progress there. :)

I made a heart label as hearts in applique.
Thankyou to Chookyblue and Susan for SAL.
Thankyou Anni Downs for this delightful pattern.
Happy Stitching,

Monday, October 5, 2015

Keeping you Updated!

Well, I have fallen behind...but not too far.....
Under the watchful eye of Miss Dora......
..... I cut out the rest of the 2" squares on Friday night (FNWF night) ..... all the "blue" ones had been cut out earlier)..... here they are all stacked up.....
...so there is no excuse now not to start stitching them all together..... .. I could say the end is in sight! 

Congratulations to those that have finished their tops - or have even quilted them! I've so enjoyed seeing your lovely work!! ..... Very inspiring!

Happy Stitching

Saturday, October 3, 2015

In my hoop.....

I'm taking a little break from the Natures Journey SAL. I am on the last row of diamonds....hope to add the borders in the next few days....
For a change of pace tonight I've started to stitch for a Chrissy swap..... shhhh tis a secret swap.....

Friday, October 2, 2015

Quilting along.

Hello my friends.
Each day I am working on this quilt!
I thought I`d show how far on I am with my quilting.

I have machine cross hatched the centre and 
free motion quilted the applique circle and hexagon.
Then placed on my hoop for hand quilting
round applique.

Now I am back at the sewing machine.
This is the back showing the quilting.
The flowers and leaves are the checker board border.
A little reverse stitching needed 
but free motion a learning curve for me.

Next time I post the quilt will be complete.
Happy Stitching,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Deadline!!

Officially - the deadline is passed.
Technically, the deadline is for Australian Eastern Standard Time - so even if you are overseas you missed it!!!


The Whip crackers are not really that tough - just big softies both of us - 
so although I am whirling that whip - I will give you some lee-way.   

 (And also I kind of have to - since neither of us are finished...)

Tally time:

2 Champions
quilts finished, blogged and hopefully hanging somewhere for all to admire.

16 Toppers
A great effort by all - and especially those who have had those life things thrown at them, illness, injury, extra work, uni courses, house moving to name a few.

I hope all the "Still Going" group are able to find some time over the next month or so to finish off... there are another 12 ladies who have finished August so can't be too far behind.

Of course the blog will still be here - so I encourage you all to move onto the next step - quilting the top or getting to a finished top - hopefully before the mad Christmas rush.

Thanks to everyone who is actively participating - it is indeed the group motivation that keeps a lot of us on track - Deadlines can be powerful motivators.!

Missing Deadline

Today is September 30 here in the US....and I managed to get two sides of the applique border done...Whoops! I cut one of my small blocks too small and looks like I'll have to do that one over...looking ahead, I have no appointments the first few days of next week so I think I can finish the top by October 7 if not before so not too far behind schedule...
Mama Bear

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September - Done and Dusted - The Quilt Top is Finished

I made it!  The first time I have been able to keep up with a stitch-a-long all the way through. I'm loving seeing all the other versions.  So many girls have been able to meet the deadline, which is great.

At the beginning of the month I was very good, cutting some each day and then piecing them into two patches and nine patches.  My little fabric baskets came into their own.

Then I seemed to stagnate. I think I was worried that they wouldn’t fit.  After reading the pattern and realising that I had to trim the quilt after the previous border was attached, everything came together nicely. 

It was fun working out the placement.  Joey was a great help.  He’s not usually allowed anywhere near a quilt that is being worked on, but it was a little hard to do anything about it when the quilt was on the floor. He was very well behaved.

Here we are with the first border attached.

Next to trim down all the appliqué blocks.  Measure twice, cut once.  All good.  Here they are attached.  I was pleased that no two of the same blue background ended up next to each other.

Finally, last night I attached the final two borders. So, in what seems to be my usual style, the month’s progress was completed with one day to spare.

I’m really happy with how it has turned out.  It is much brighter than it thought it would be, as quite a few of the fabrics are fairly dark.

I’m also happy that then entire top is made from scraps and from my stash.  No fabric was bought.  Mind you, it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference in my fabric piles.

Now I have to give my friendly custom quilter a call to arrange to have it quilted.  The end is nigh.

Thanks so much to Chooky and Susan.  As I’ve said before, there is no way I would tackle a quilt with this much work without the threat of the whip and the camaraderie of all the other girls working away with me.

And finally, I must mention Anni.  Aren’t her designs just awesome.  We are so lucky to have her in our midst.



Sorry, I am still here.

I am still here. Because my inner check border is shorter than applique border, I need to sew all squares again. 

My Journey is nearly at it`s end !

Hello my friends.
My journey is nearly at it`s end but a few more days quilting yet!
So far:

Trying to get backing and wadding 
with top in place ready to pin!!
As you can see this little lady was helping,

A lot has been quilted but still a few hours to go.

I`m finding my back and shoulders can only take
small amounts of time on this.
Plus school holidays and family due to visit.
I`ll keep on with my progress and show as
soon as complete.
I`m disappointed not to have finished this month :(
Happy Stitching,

At Journey's End

Well nearly ... except for the quilting and binding but for now I am super happy with a finished top.

Sorry but I couldn't decide which photo layout I liked the best so went with all 3 ... I'm just that happy to have a top.

I can't thank Chooky enough for the opportunity to be part of this years' SAL and to Susan for being co whip cracker. In all the ups and downs of the drought, working off farm and general life, this has been the one thing that I could control. All mapped out with steps for each month ... great support and friendship with fellow SAL Gals and lovely comments cheering each other on.

Congratulations to our Champions and to those who have finished tops ... they are all amazing to look at and I love all the different colour combinations.

Fingers crossed that another SAL may commence with the new year. Knowing all to well how Mother Nature and other "stuff" can push you to your limits sometimes ... this journey has been a lovely oasis.

Thank you xx  ~  Narelle @ Pins and Whiskers

I Made It!

I didn't expect to take to long to show you my finished top.  You know what happens to the best laid plans... they come unstuck when you catch the Devils own stinking cold.   Never mind..... I'm finally able to show you my Natures Journey.....

I have to say that signing up to stitch along with Chooky, Susan and all you girls was the best thing I've done in years.   What a difference it makes having a reason to keep up with the blocks of the month... fear of the lash is a great motivator!     I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be another SAL starting soon.    

OK... now I have to quilt it.   I'm thinking of hand quilting.  Never done it before but I really think this lovely project deserves yet more effort on my part.

Must dash.... I'm on retreat at the moment and computer time is restricted.  Thought you might like to see the sunset here on the Mull of Galloway last night.....

Have a lovely week... stitching Natures Journey